Earlier this summer I heard about the idea of Microadventures – mini adventures that inspire you to take a break from the busy-ness of life and get out and cycle/walk/run/hike/swim/explore somewhere new. Because really, why not?

As I am always a fan of new adventures, I found a fellow adventurous spirit (yes, that’s you Emma) and we set off on our own cycling-inspired microadventure. Despite threatening clouds (and frequent stops to repair Murray, my trusty cycle) we ventured from Belfast to the coast south of Comber, and set up ‘camp’ somewhere under the stars between the incoming tide and field of fresh looking leaks. It was beautiful, indeed.

So without further adieu, I present to you, our visual documentation* of the journey!

*In the spirit of adventure, I opted to experiment with motion instead of still photography. For the record, it’s harder than one might think to hold a camera steady while cycling and trying desperately not to crash…

As a designer and photographer, I love how inspiration can be found in so many place, how a bit of fresh air and 24 hours without a computer does wonders for the brain! Needless to say, I’m definitely addicted to the idea of microadventures; now I just need to find a bag that’s bigger on the inside to fit enough layers for warmth in the coming winter…

While wondering around London’s Southbank Festival of Britain festivities earlier today, I bumped into a swell little exhibit atop the roof of the Hayword Gallery that I thought I’d share!

The photos, part of a series entitled ‘Helmand’, are by photographer Robert Wilson, where he photographed closeups of troops in Afghanistan’s conflict region a few years ago. I suppose there are a lot of photo series covering the war and things around that, but it was interesting to see the story told through straight portraits. It was kind of like each photo told an entire story of its own – of each person’s experience – in a kind of in-your-face but contemplative way. ‘Twas also super cool to see it out in the open air on a roof which added to overall impact, I think!


To check out more of the series and see some of Robert Wilson’s other work visit his site here.

I think Alastair Humphreys is my new hero.

Actually, I’m pretty sure he is. Having cycled around the world (including a stint in a canoe) and written excitingly about it, Humphreys is a proper adventurer who is all about embracing life while we have it. Also, he decided he wanted to take photos to document this, so he bought a camera and started taking a photo a day; awesome!

Photo by Alastair Humphreys

You can probably see a trend here in my inspiration series, that I greatly admire people who follow their passions no matter what they are or how crazy they seem. Seriously, what would you tell me if I said I was going to drop everything and cycle around the world? How awesome would it be if I didn’t care and went and had the time of my life anyway?

I guess my equivalent of river jumping was when I quite firmly decided the following four things:
1) I wanted to make the world prettier through unique visual communication
2) I wanted to make design and photography accessible
3) I wanted to live a lifestyle where I could afford to travel and experience new places
3) I wanted to find a way to make a living off of it

Hence, in 2009, LiveLaugh was officially born. It was my river.

Passion wins, every time.

Today’s inspiration comes in the form of spoken word poet, Sarah Kay. I was originally introduced to Sarah Kay a year or so ago (when a friend sent me a link to ‘Hands’), and recently rediscovered her work and was blown away all over again.

While she’s not a visual artist, so to speak, I am hugely inspired by her passion and perspective on life.

“I use spoken word to help my students rediscover wonder. To fight their instincts to be cool and unphased and instead actively pursue being engaged with what is going on around them, so that they can reinterpret and create something from it.”

The above video is from TED2011, in which she talks about how she got started in spoken word poetry and how she evolved into who she is today because of pursuing that love. It’s well worth a watch (or two), as her passion is super inspiring and it’s a lovely story of how she embarked on an adventure to do what she loved and share it with others. We can all learn something from that!

“If I can make you think, or if I can make you feel, my job’s done. That’s my passion.”

Cale Glendening is a freelance photographer and film maker, and definitely an inspiration!

The above music video, created for musician Van Risseghem, is an excellent example of this. Even though the budget was incredibly limited, the final project is a beautiful visual narrative of the song. As he writes on his blog, “We have to stop making excuses and get out there and CREATE!” I suppose it goes to show that a good idea will trump uncertain circumstances any day.

He also relatively recently travelled to Indonesia to photograph and film the Mentawai Tribe – he found a story he wanted to tell, and so he went and told it; awesome! Perhaps it’s his passion that make his work so remarkable?

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